Cabanel entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris at the age of seventeen. He exhibited at the Paris Salon and won the Prix de Rome scholarship in 1845 at the age of 22. Cabanel was elected a member of the Institute in 1863. He was appointed professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1864 and taught there until his death. Cabanel formed the character of belle époque French painting. His refusal to allow Édouard Manet and many other painters to exhibit their work in the Salon of 1863 led to the establishment of the Salon des Refusés by the French government. Cabanel won the Grande Médaille d'Honneur at the Salons of 1865, 1867, and 1878.
'Albaydé' (1848), Musée Fabre, Montpellier
Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemned Prisoners (1887), Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp
|The Birth of Venus was purchased by Napoleon III for his collection at the Paris Salon in 1863. That same year Cabanel was made a professor of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.|
While Cabanel won honors in 1878, a Gervex painting was rejected the same year as immoral.
Rolla, 1878Henri Gervex (1852-1929)
In the Spring of 1878, just
before the inauguration of the Salon, Rolla
was excluded from the event by the Beaux-Arts administration.
Henri Gervex had already been awarded a medal at the Salon, which in
theory gave him a place in the show, but the jury decided otherwise.
Meanwhile, the modern viewer only wonders if Rolla left the girl with her fee and not just his corpse.